Man travels the world while working and lets his employees do the same

Since 2016 Andy Stofferis has traveled to over 40 destinations for work (Photo: Andy Stofferis)

The idea of ​​working remotely abroad has catapulted into the mainstream since the pandemic.

But a Belgian was living this “digital nomad” lifestyle long before March 2020.

Six years ago Andy Stofferis decided that everyday life in his hometown no longer served him.

The 31-year-old has since traveled to more than 40 destinations, including Kazakhstan, Chile, Budapest and Turkey, while running his own digital marketing agency.

Now he spends his weeks working from his Airbnb (or short-term rental accommodation), coworking spaces or in cafes – and uses his free time to explore different cities around the world.

Andy currently lives in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, where he plans to stay until the end of the year.

“I didn’t really think hard at first, because I think if you think too much you will never take the plunge,” he told Metro.co.uk.

“I was very excited to take that step – it’s a great feeling of freedom and happiness to see new places, to meet new people and to know that you are going to be doing it all the time.”

He runs his own digital marketing agency around the world (Photo: Anastasia Krylova / Andy Stofferis)

The move was made possible for Andy because he runs his own digital marketing business, called Sendabee.

After realizing that his clients didn’t need him in their offices, Andy realized that working remotely and traveling could be an option for him.

And after a few initial months in London to see if it would be possible, he took the plunge and decided to travel.

Since then his business has grown and all its employees work remotely like other digital nomads around the world, or work freelance from their hometown.

He says, “I haven’t had any issues with my clients or my team members, maybe because we all work remotely and we all have the same mindset.

“I work with some of the team in Portugal, some in Mexico, some in Australia. It’s sometimes difficult with time zones to make sure we can get together on certain projects – but other than that it’s been going very well.

“We have found a way to work together, but at the same time we can work on different tasks alone, without waiting for others.

“It’s called asynchronous working – it’s a way of working separately and being able to continue working without getting responses from team members. Every now and then we need meetings to make sure we’re aligned, but we try to work as much as possible separately.

“We all go to coworking spaces to meet other people and interact with other people when we are working remotely. “

He likes to stay a few months at each destination (Photo: Andy Stofferis)

Andy also likes to “travel slowly” and therefore tends to stay in each destination for at least a few months.

This way he can learn the local customs and culture, and achieve the best balance of work, well-being and social life – something he says can be really difficult as a digital nomad and requires a lot of self-discipline. .

Andy adds, “You have to find your own routine and that’s something you learn along the way.

“I work a lot in the morning and then in the afternoon I have more free time to do what I want. Although I also work in the afternoons, it is more relaxed and I can accept (or not accept) any opportunity to explore the city or meet new people.

“So I try to work as much as possible in the morning, while everyone is still asleep.

“That’s how I try to keep that balance, but it’s difficult. I often have to say “no” to the people I meet, which is a bit annoying because you meet very nice people along the way. Often times I have to say “no” because I work full time.

“It’s something very unique – especially at the beginning, when digital nomadism was not so widespread. It was hard to get people to understand this as they thought I was going to their country to enjoy it as a traveler or backpacker, but that was not the case at all.

“But now, due to the pandemic, everyone understands what remote working is.”

Some of her favorite places have been in Central Asia (Photo: Andy Stofferis)

Some of Andy’s favorite places are in Central Asia, like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, where he stayed for almost 10 months before the pandemic.

He continues: “They are quite unusual and exotic, and not touristy at all – at least compared to other places in Europe, like Barcelona or Lisbon. I also really liked the hospitality there and the food is good.

“Once I get the chance again, I will go back to Central Asia. “

Andy was living in Italy when news of the coronavirus broke. Fortunately, he managed to catch one of the last flights to Budapest, where he had a property to stay. And, while he wasn’t able to travel for most of 2020, he still made the most of it.

He says: “I love Budapest so it was very nice without the tourists. It was nice to see this empty city and I have been to some of the neighboring countries, like Austria and Slovenia, during the summer.

This year he was able to travel more frequently to countries like Turkey, Albania and Georgia – where he now lives.

Typically, he uses platforms like Airbnb to book his stays, or other sites for medium-term stays (around three to six months).

He points out that a good internet connection is the key thing to look for when booking – given that you will be spending a lot of time working.

Andy remained in Budapest during the lockdown (Photo: Andy Stofferis)

Andy also says he’s still trying to learn the basics of the language for the country he’s heading to next. However, most of the time he can get by using translation tools or speaking English.

“I try, like a good tourist, to learn the basic sentences. Most of the time the locals and the elderly like it because they see that I made the effort and that we are trying to communicate somehow, ”he says.

“Sometimes I use Google Translate or other apps that can directly translate what you want to say – or with the younger generations in most capitals or big cities, they can all speak English almost fluently.”

In terms of advice for those considering working overseas remotely, Andy says it’s best not to think too much about it. Also consider if the lifestyle change is really right for you.

He adds: “Check if digital nomadism is right for you, it’s not for everyone. I would suggest trying to work remotely overseas for a few months and then go home and figure out what worked and what didn’t and decide if you want to do it or not.

“It’s good to experiment before embarking on the ‘all-in’ on digital nomadism, because it’s not that simple.

“There are pros and cons, we all see Instagram photos, where we see people enjoying the lifestyle – but it’s not like that in real life, it’s just Instagram.”

So where’s next on Andy’s list?

The owner of the company says it could be Kazakhstan, the United States or Canada again. But in simple terms, he didn’t decide.

He says, “I really don’t know yet, it’s the magic of being a digital nomad. In the end, I don’t know where I’m going.

Updates on Andy’s adventures and affairs are available on his blog at andysto.com

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